#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 455

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing. We’re at the beginning of our ninth year of weekly prompts. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 455 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook and the Group on MeWe.

Need the rules? Read on.

Here’s how it works:

  • The prompt is a line from the previous week’s winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
  • The prompt must be used as is. It can be split, but no intervening words can be inserted or tenses changed.

Rules to the Game:

  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • The story must be new writing, not a snippet from something published elsewhere with the prompt added.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count in the post (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email in the post (so we don’t have to look for you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.

How it benefits you:

  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we’re all about promotion – you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Google Plus, etc.

Our Judge for Week 455:

Rose Sogioka

Medical assistant fueled by caffeine who loves getting lost in world of a book, Rose Sogioka.

Facebook | Twitter |

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“He should have been alone.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Comments do not represent the views of the host and the host reserves the right to remove any content. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

12 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 455”

  1. Death’s A Wrap

    The following week, I attended Irv Finecastle’s virtual funeral. There was a good turnout. Given my inexcusable participation in his death, I expected to get weepy, but no, no weepy willows for me. Irv’s ex-wives, lovers, kids, real estate customers, all offered up wreaths of praise.

    Irv had been one of a kind, they agreed.

    Though the local police were having a hard time determining the exact sequences of deaths, they were proudly reporting that Detective Wick Waters had died a hero, even if it was a bullet from his police-issue revolver that had claimed the life of Irv Finecastle.

    I gave a statement regretting my egregious delay in arriving at Mona’s penthouse until after the gun smoke had cleared. “Perhaps lives could have been saved,” I was quoted in the local press, “if I’d only moved a little faster.”

    As Covid-19 was still keeping most reliable people indoors, the lack of witnesses to my tardiness spun nicely.

    Time moved on.

    Trump lost his shot at a second term.

    The world seemed more hopeful.

    In mid-March, Effie called, asked if I’d ever sent a bill.

    I said, “I did so little.”

    She started leaking, moaning, “I don’t understand it. Why did he go there? He should have been alone…or with me…or with a customer.”

    I gave her my two-bits philosophical take. “Some men, Effie, they just don’t know how to be alone. They never learned. Me? I love being by myself.”

    I said I’d send the bill.

  2. Frustration cut a deep swath through her. Sade gazed around the room, noting the chaos. Overturned furniture. Broken lamps. But no blood. And no wizard. Someone had gotten to her suspect first.

    “He should have been alone.” And he should have. Interpol had surveillance on the place.

    Jean-Louis offered her a disdainful glance. “Why? Because you wish it so?”

    “You know what they say about wishes and horses.”

    “Are you insinuating I am a beggar?” The vampire puffed up like the dandy he’d once been.

    “No. I’m saying you’re pretty much a horse’s ass.”

    Jean-Louis bristled but a growl from Sade’s werewolf partner kept him silent.

    “Caleb?”

    “Humans. And a whiff of magic. I think your Mr. Wizard magicked himself away and whoever else was here tore the place apart.”

    “Frustration or looking for something?”

    Caleb shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

    Jean-Louis cleared his throat. Sade and Caleb ignored him. He cleared it again.

    “What?” Sade didn’t look his way. She was too busy flipping through a large, leather-bound book.

    “Agent Marquis.”

    That got Sade’s attention. She and Caleb both whirled to face the man standing in the doorway. And the equally large weapon in his hands.

    “I am pleased to finally meet you face to face.” He shifted the barrel of the Desert Eagle slightly. “I am prepared for werewolves, Agent Jones. Do not move.”

    Sade studied the intruder. He wasn’t magick. “Who are you?”

    “The man who plans to kill you.”
    ****
    250 Penumbra Papers WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  3. He had given specific instructions. He should have been alone. But when he left his house on the evening of his execution, an honor guard of his neighbors lined the entire street. Rather than get into the squad car immediately, he walked down the middle of the roadway, nodding to those few individuals who watched him in awe, those whose eyes were not down as a mark of respect. Two police officers trailed behind him. When he reached the end of the street, one of them took him by the arm and indicated that he get into the vehicle that had followed them, its lights silently flashing, intermittently washing the street in red and blue hues.
    He got in, the two police officers sandwiching him in the back seat, and the car sped away with irreverential haste.
    “They’ll be put on the watch-list, your neighbors.” The senior police detective sitting in the passenger seat alongside the driver turned around to face him. He raised his eyebrows and looked into his eyes. “All of them.”
    The man exhaled out of his mouth in a deep sigh of yogic forbearance.
    “Yet they – like me – have done nothing wrong,” the man said.
    “If they’ve done nothing wrong they have nothing to fear,” the driver said, keeping his eyes trained on the road ahead.
    The man wasn’t concerned. He had smuggled the flash drive out weeks earlier. The data had now been uploaded, he knew, and would be shared within moments of his death.
    250 words @ragtaggiggagon

  4. Celia stared at the computer screen, blinking back hot tears.

    She saved all the images in the Discard folder, then carefully printed them out, one by one, 122 photos in all. A picnic. In Phoenix Park. Sunny day, cloudless sky. Red plaid blanket—the one she had left behind.

    Plum wine. Their favorite—she could tell by the label. French bread, a small wheel of Cheddar, to be sliced with his Swiss Army knife.
    The tears began again.

    Carefully, she printed out the pictures in True-to-Life-Tints and carried them to the kitchen. She selected a paring knife from the drawer, the one from the set they had been given as a housewarming gift, and tested the blade for sharpness, running it across her fingertip. It would do nicely.

    He should have been alone, not with some overweight hussy.

    Laying the photos out in no particular order, a meaningless disarray, she began, furiously stabbing at the woman in the picture, first targeting the flaming red hair, then the eyes—blue, like Celia’s—then moving on to the woman’s swollen abdomen, the plump, amplified breasts.

    The tears streamed down her face, saturating the images, dyes blurring and running together, like watercolors in the rain.

    Celia took particular note of the red hue, its vivid brilliance, and, crying uncontrollably, she failed to realize it was actual blood.

    @rrats1231
    224 words

  5. Professor Olga Pushkov knelt in the dirt with an uncharacteristic deeply puzzled look. Sheena, who was just walking over after her break, always felt privileged to witness the great archaeologist, but this looked like it could be a pivotal moment in the dig.

    Sheena stepped carefully over to her to see if she could help; or at least learn something. ‘What have you found Olga?’

    She seemed not to hear and she had a fixed gaze into the mid distance. Sheena realised her look was one of shock.

    ‘He should have been alone.’

    She repeated it over and over.

    Sheena looked at the assemblage in front of her. There were several jumbled skeletons – she could make out two skulls and five legs. But there was nothing unusual, all the Neolithic burials there were mixed like that.

    Olga dropped something, narrowly missed clipping one of the skulls. Sheena assumed it was her trowel, her constant companion, but it was a mobile phone.

    ‘The stupid bastard. Stupid, heartless bastard.’

    Police sirens suddenly pierced the quietness of the Shropshire hillside as two vehicles broke above the rise, which alarmed both the archaeologists – normally no one came up there.

    Ten minutes later Olga was arrested in connection with the murder of her husband. Sheena learnt from the dishy policeman that an arsonist had been caught after torching her house: with her husband in it. He’d quickly confessed, but said he’d been hired by Olga, who’d told him no one would be in the house.

    _____________
    @zevonesque
    WC: 250

  6. Vibrations shot through Shandor as he stepped onto the ground.

    He should have been alone at Bianca’s house, but someone disturbed the peace.

    Making sure he wasn’t too close to the vehicles, he let go of his human disguise. It always felt like a release from clothes that were too tight and relief quickly followed. His legs and arms shortened as his body elongated into a sinuous shape. No one had caught his image on a cellphone camera, but his colleagues had told him resembled the Variable Skink, an indigenous amphibian in Colorado, albeit a thousand times its size. The only differences were the wings he could pull from the dark mottled stripes on his sides and the thick scales at the back of his skull that he could raise in a threatening frill.

    He planned on just using his size and presence to scare off the threat.

    Tasting the air, he shifted toward the edge of the house. Come out, come out, wherever you are, little human. The scents of anger, fear, and desperation hit his tongue along with primate sweat. He moved slowly, sliding along his belly to get a better view of the side yard. Nothing moved.

    He stopped and listened. Humans in general weren’t terribly quiet. And he didn’t expect a tax lawyer to have SpecOp kind of training. If it is indeed Bianca’s ex come to call.

    Shandor reversed his direction and met a very surprised older male in a dark hoodie holding a crowbar.

    250 ineligible #ElementalHearts words
    @SiobhanMuir

  7. I loaded the syringe and gave it a tap. A cluster of bubbles swirled around and rose to the top. I gave the actuator button a nudge: a micro-spray shot out, misting the air above the nozzle.

    I was ready.

    My instructions were clear: visit Herbert Spencer and abbreviate him. It should have been an easy hit. He’d no idea he’d been marked for deletion. Right now, he seemed innocuous; a worker in an office, his most serious vice the glass of sherry he took at nine each night. Who would have thought he’d be demonised and reviled?

    Of course, there were those who said he was a man of distinction. They’d make lists of his achievements, most usually improperly punctuated. They’d speak of his other claims to fame, saying he was a polymath, that his contributions to the sciences and philosophy set him apart from others of his time.

    All I knew was that he was going to be trouble. That he was going to be the cause of endless disputes throughout the whole of the English-speaking world. He would add fuel to the enmity of millions, his influence creating divisions that would never be resolved.
    I wasn’t the first to be sent back through time to kill him. The previous Grammatica agent had been confused, finding him where he shouldn’t have been. He should have been alone, and not in the company of a woman named George.

    But the Oxford Comma would end soon, with a full stop.

    250 words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com

  8. Le Renard and La Louve spent the morning circling one another without leaving their seats at the corner table overlooking the main street. Different as they were, each was the master of their field and knew better than to underestimate the other. There would be blood this day. More than the agreed upon amount if either Guild Master showed any weakness.

    “What would you say to ordering a bit of brunch, while we wait?” Renard proposed.

    “That your time at the table has softened you.” Louve sneered.

    “It was only an idea.”

    The metropolitan man pouted at the weathered woman. Winter light from the window illuminated their hands on the table where both could see. The old woman smiled and the younger man frowned as she perceived their new arrival an instant before him.

    “You still draw breath. Your task is complete?”

    The trembling dark cloaked figure prostrated themselves pitifully before the masters.

    “He had help! We were completely overwhelmed!”

    “He should have been alone!” Renard tugged his beard distraughtly. “How many were with him?”

    “Just one girl…”

    “Kinnery!” Louve hissed, loosing an axe from her belt deep into the messenger’s skull.

    “Wasn’t that one of yours?” Renard inquired from safely behind a ceiling beam.

    “The best place to bury a hatchet, is in someone’s head.” Louve retrieved hers from the corpse. “If Kinnery is protecting Silencer, then his is no longer an option.”

    Renard considered the blood pooling on the floor.

    “Then things are settled between us?”

    “For now.”

    250 Cat’s The Pajamas words
    @DavidALudwig

  9. “I know you sold him that flyer, Miss Haversham.” The officer cruised my tiny office like he owned it. Eyes wandering, touching things with his black-gloved hands. I wondered if he’d recognized me.
    “S’what the paper says.” I forced calm. Joey said Feds could sniff out fear and I didn’t need no more trouble on account of Jimmy.
    “That beater was never gonna make it past the Zone,” he observed, his ferret eyes locked on mine. The Zone was forbidden but it sounded like Jimmy paid for his crime. All I did was sell a boat to a stupid slag who thought he could run. Poor Jimmy.
    “I told him that,” I said flatly. No sense in lying about it. Plus I wanted him to leave before he figured anything else out.
    “You did?” His eyebrows near flew off his forehead. But satisfying as that was, it was a mistake. Now he took notice.
    “Told him if he was set on being a damn fool, he’d need shielding.”
    The officer came around the desk, scanning me from my boots to my ponytail as if sizing me up new. Wished I’d worn coveralls, not the slimmer flightsuit but too late on that score too.
    “Did he listen?” the man’s voice was softer, somehow more dangerous.
    “He should have.”
    “Been alone long?” the officer drawled softly after a long silence.
    “Long enough.” I wondered if Jimmy really had an accident or if they just needed an excuse to come sniffing.

    @Sbennettwrites
    250 words

  10. Words

    There are words, phrases we should never utter. Words of have power here, the power of intent. When you speak them, whether they are heard or not, the power goes where it will and intent has consequences. These are the words you must unlearn.”

    Then there are the words and phrases, whose power is stronger than any other. Soft words, that can overpower even the strongest of emotions.

    Words like ‘love’, ‘kindness’, ‘agape.’ These are the words that you must learn.

    When you put evil out into the world, it takes on a life of its own. It strikes at people needlessly— people who are already alone, and hurting and they see it as a sign that the universe is against them.

    It is not. The universe itself does not care. It is inanimate, and it is we who must make our way in it it does not help or hinder. It simply is.

    As for the man who hates? You can say ‘he should have been alone’ and to that I say, he was and that was where his hate was born, under the full moon of self-loathing and pain.

    He should have been alone in his hate, but put those words out into the universe and they were answered. I say— he should not have been alone. There should have been someone to correct him and bring him back to the words of true power.

    Hate destroys what love builds, but love echoes on.

    @mishmhem
    247 words not including title.

  11. #ThursThreads Week 455 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week. 🙂

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